Walking in the Footsteps of Gods (Case Study: Gods and Mortals at the Onassis Cultural Center NY)

Museum Hack - Renegade Tours

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Museum exhibits are doorways to discovery.  The stories presented within them can be windows to deep engagement and spark a lifelong love for history, art, and culture in all who view them.

Onassis Cutural Center Gods and Mortals exhibit banner

The Onassis Cultural Center NY recently hosted an amazing exhibition entitled, Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus.  With over 90 artworks and artifacts dating from the 10th century BCE to 4th century CE, this exhibition explored the relationship between daily life and the gods in the ancient city of Dion.  Dion, also known as the City of Zeus, was built on the slopes of Mount Olympus – literally on the doorstep to some of the most enduring gods of Western civilization.  Even more amazing, most of these artifacts had never been seen in the United States before, presenting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many visitors.

Onassis wanted to increase audience engagement with the exhibit through tours that used a unique vibe to attract new audiences.  They called Museum Hack to add to their repertoire of docent-led programs.  It was time for Museum Hack to bring ancient Dion back to life.

Onassis tours - all hands in for Museum Hack!
Museum Hack tour of Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus. The exhibition is organized by the Onassis Foundation (USA) and the Dion excavations, in collaboration with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports—Ephorate of Antiquities of Pieria. Footage courtesy of the Onassis Foundation (USA).

On select dates in 2016, our VIP Guides took visitors on a journey to uncover the hidden stories of Gods and Mortals at Olympus.  Our tours featured the wild and sexy Greek mythology and political gossip while exploring road signs with penises, how the Greeks partied, possible psychedelic use in Macedonia, and Hellenic gynecology.  We also delved into the magical – Pythagoras style – and gave visitors tips on how to become a Greek god in the afterlife.

“We looked at a mosaic of Bacchus that was excavated a few months ago and never seen before, anywhere. As he’s the god of partying, we discussed the more wild aspects of partying and the divine realm in ancient Greece, including the fact that a few scholars have posited that the Greeks developed a primitive form of LSD for their rituals.

Later, we split visitors into small groups and had them go around the exhibition for a game called ‘Cult Founder.’ Each group was founding a new cult in Ancient Greece and had to pick a deity or item that would represent their cult.  They were then challenged to pitch their cult to our VIP Guides and compete for a prize!  Personal favorite winner was the God of No Hangovers.” – Evan G., Museum Hack Tour Guide

Check out these awesome photos and video highlights from our tours:

Onassis tour group
Guests during a Museum Hack tour of Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus. The exhibition is organized by the Onassis Foundation (USA) and the Dion excavations, in collaboration with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports—Ephorate of Antiquities of Pieria. Footage courtesy of the Onassis Foundation (USA).
Nora leading a Museum Hack tour of Gods and Mortals
Nora discussing Dion’s many artifacts, during Museum Hack tour of Gods and Mortals at Olympus: Ancient Dion, City of Zeus. The exhibition is organized by the Onassis Foundation (USA) and the Dion excavations, in collaboration with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports—Ephorate of Antiquities of Pieria. Footage courtesy of the Onassis Foundation (USA).

Our guests loved it!  Check out this great testimonial from some of our guests:

We had an amazing time working with staff and leading guests on our VIP tours of this incredible exhibition.  Special thanks to the Onassis Cultural Center NY for giving us the opportunity to bring this once-in-a-lifetime exhibit to life.

 

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